Is Your Pocket Being Picked?


By Vicki Molinari

Have you ever felt frustrated, confused and overwhelmed to the point that you lost your joy?  Perhaps due to a loss or a severe life change, there was discontentment and discouragement that lingered. Daily, you woke up wondering why the once exciting, full and blessed life was no longer there.

I have. 

While having coffee with a friend, I shared with her my recent struggle.  "How are you?" she asked.  I decided to be real and said “I am feeling discouraged with no ray of hope as if I was walking under a huge dark cloud.”  If you have ever been there, perhaps this blog is for you.

Following an encouraging chat, I walked away from our casual meeting feeling a bit less of a failure.  She encouraged me to pray, stay in the Word and worship God, even in the midst of this storm. 

I was ready to make some changes.  "GOD, HELP", was my prayer.

I was determined to keep walking and trusting the God who created me.  Despite my feelings, I knew my life had purpose, beyond a ho-hum meager existence.

Later that week, I opened my journal and began to look back on notes I had made.  "Is your pocket being picked?"  The words hit me hard and the revelation began. I knew what was happening in my heart and in my spirit.  

Though this has never happened to me, I began to think about the physical act of one's pocket being picked.  I found this article by Harry Mount which describes the technique by “the honest” pickpocket, James Freedman in

For years he’s been giving pickpocket demonstrations to teach people how not to become victims of street crime. I asked him to show me how those crooks go about their surreptitious trade.  First, they ‘fan the mark’. The ‘mark’ is the victim. ‘Fanning’ is using your hand to feel for valuables. ‘It’s a light, fluttering motion and, if executed correctly, the victim isn’t aware of it.  Next — and this is vitally important — distract your victim: pat them on the shoulder with one hand as you ask the time and use your other hand to lift their wallet. Most importantly, the act is unknown to the victim:  Harry Mount said, "Fixing my gaze, Freedman puts his hand lightly on top of my watch, unbuckles it and whisks it away. I don’t feel anything in the entire operation and don’t look down because our eyes are firmly locked. More oddly, I don’t notice the watch’s absence once removed." Finally, "People have a muscle memory,’ says Freedman. ‘They don’t notice if something’s gone, however heavy it is, whether it’s a handkerchief — or your notebook.’  With that, he hands me back my hefty notebook, which I thought had been securely tucked inside my breast pocket. Somehow, he’d removed it.”

This interesting information caused me to consider that just like Freedman's victims’, I am Satan’s victim. Busy, distracted and unaware I allow him to pick my spiritual pocket.  He is cunning, sneaky and catches me off guard, causing me to be robbed of things far more important than a wallet or cell phone.  This has to stop!

John 10:10-11say “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. But Jesus came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  John 1:12 says "But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God."  

The truth:  I am a child of God. I was made for so much more than what I was living, but it was up to me to protect myself against the schemes of the devil.

How about you?  Are you walking through a storm? Has the devil picked your pocket, stealing your vision, joy and purpose? 

Let's put him on notice, believing that God has so much more for us.  If we will believe in Him, trust His word and follow His commandments as His children, He will renew us, giving us vision and strength for a far greater purpose than we can imagine.